Shahbaz’s arrest, inflation top agenda as opposition requisitions NA session

Updated 06 Oct 2020

ISLAMABAD: Amid rising political temperatures in the country, opposition parties on Monday requisitioned the National Assembly session to discuss a six-point agenda, including the arrest of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The agenda attached to the requisition notice shows that besides discussing the arrest of Mr Sharif, the opposition also wants to bring under discussion issues of “rising inflation in the country, increasing cases of violence against women, including rape, massive increase in prices of life-saving medicines, simultaneous extortionate rise in electricity prices and increase in circular debt beyond Rs2,300 billion and continuing collapse in Pakistan’s foreign relations endangering national security”.

The requisition notice carries signatures of 125 opposition members and it has been submitted to the National Assembly Secretariat under Article 54(3) of the Constitution.

The opposition submitted the requisition notice a week after the arrest of Mr Sharif by NAB in a money laundering case in Lahore.

According to the tentative parliamentary calendar, the regular session of the National Assembly was due to begin on Monday (Oct 5) which was to continue till Oct 16. However, the opposition submitted the requisition notice when the government did not call the session.

Under the Constitution, Speaker Asad Qaiser is bound to summon the NA session within 14 days of the receipt of the requisition notice. Since the requisition was moved on Oct 5, the speaker will have to summon the session by Oct 19.

The routine sessions of the National Assembly are summoned by the president, but a requisitioned session can only be summoned by the speaker.

Article 54(3) of the Constitution says: “On a requisition signed by not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the National Assembly, the speaker shall summon the National Assembly to meet, at such time and place as he thinks fit, within fourteen days of the receipt of the requisition; and when the Speaker has summoned the Assembly only he may prorogue it.”

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